Putting up council tax not the answer to social care funding gap - 12 December 2016

Cllr Richard Kemp, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care at the Local Government Association has slammed government proposals to deal with the funding care funding crisis by an increase in council tax.

Cllr Kemp said, "The 2 per cent increase in council tax this year brought in about £360 million nationally and still leaves a predicted gap of £2.2 billion by 2020. This would suggest that council tax would need to increase by about 14 per cent to deal with this problem ignoring any other inflationary problems faced by any provider of services.

"If council was a fair tax the this might be acceptable but council tax is an inherently unfair tax. People who own a small terraced house in Liverpool already pay as much as the owner of a mansion flat in Westminster because of the way that the system works. Poor people pay a much higher proportion of their income in council tax than rich people.

"In places like my own city of Liverpool the needs of the extremely poor will be paid by the very poor if council tax is the route for dealing with this problem.

"Next week I am taking part in a meeting with Norman Lamb and others about looking at the entire funding programme for health and social care. We need a national debate about these issues if we are to deal with the tsunami of issues coming from our increasing longevity."